Sports round-up

Snooker: Ken Doherty survived a tense finish to edge past Anthony Hamilton and book his place in the World Championship draw. In the final qualifying round, 1997 world champion Doherty beat Anthony Hamilton 10-9. It meant the 42-year-old avoided the fate of fellow Crucible Theatre favourites Steve Davis and Jimmy White, who both missed out after upsets last week. Davis and White both lost in the penultimate round of the championship preliminaries.

Swimming: Australian great and four-time Olympic gold medallist Murray Rose died in Sydney yesterday aged 73 after a battle with leukaemia. English-born Rose moved to Australia as an infant following the Second World War and started swimming in Sydney at the age of five. He became an Olympic champion in 1956 as a 17-year-old, winning the first of his three gold medals at the Melbourne Games in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Tennis: Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic said his goodbyes to tennis yesterday after suffering a 6-0, 6-3 opening defeat to compatriot Ivan Dodig at the Monte Carlo Masters. The first-round loss was the end of the line for the shaven-headed Croatian icon, who last played in an opening loss in Dubai two months ago. The Monte Carlo-based veteran, 33, had previously announced that the elite event in the principality, which yesterday opened the pre-French Open run, would be his last hurrah in the sport.

Boxing: American fighter Brandon Rios remained unbeaten on Saturday with a split-decision victory over Cuban Richard Abril but the WBA lightweight title remained vacant. Rios failed to make weight for the fight, coming in at 137 pounds rather than inside the division’s 135-pound limit, and so as a result was ineligible to claim the crown, instead only able to deny Abril the title.

Rugby: War-torn Afghanistan, already impressing the cricketing world with its rapid progress in the game, will play its first rugby match abroad in Dubai this month. Afghanistan will play a series of exhibition sevens matches against a development side for the UAE national team ahead of the Asian Five Nations on April 27, the Afghanistan Rugby Federation said.

Golf: Louis Oosthuizen bounced back from his US Masters heartbreak in the best possible fashion as he completed a stirring three-shot victory at the Malaysian Open, yesterday. Oosthuizen cut a miserable figure after last week’s Augusta play-off, but he was all smiles following his win over Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, who pushed him until the final holes at the par-72 Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Marathon: Kenyan runner Stanley Biwott won the men’s Paris marathon yesterday in a record time of 2hrs 05:12 to add to his victory in March’s half-marathon. The 26-year-old bettered the previous best time for the Paris marathon of 2hr 05:47 set by compatriot Vincent Kipruto in the 2009 edition. Also yesterday, Ethiopian Yemane Adnane won the Rotterdam marathon in Holland in 2hr 04:47. Ethiopia cleaned up in both races as Tiki Gelana was first home in the women’s marathon in a new record time for the Rotterdam event of 2hr 18:57.

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